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Bicultural identity and economic engagement: An exploratory study of the Indian diaspora in North America

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Abstract

This study examines the role that the bicultural identity of members of an ethnic diaspora (the Indian diaspora in Canada and the United States) can play in affecting the level of economic engagement between their country of residence (COR) and country of origin (COO). Specifically, it examines how differences in bicultural identity can explain the varying levels of engagement by diasporic members in different trade and investment facilitation behaviors, and how the different components of bicultural identity, cultural distance, and cultural conflict, could affect the level of economic engagement between the diasporic members’ COR and COO. Results indicate that cultural distance and cultural conflict and their interaction do have a significant impact on economic engagement behaviors; these effects are complex and multifaceted and are mediated by the diaspora’s social networks in both the COR and COO.

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Notes

  1. This is also true of a number of countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.

  2. Biracial people are more likely to be bicultural compared to people of one race, though of course there are biculturals who are biracial and biculturals who come from one race. The focus of this study is on biculturals, not biracial people per se. Not all immigrants and their descendants are biculturals. In this paper, the focus is on those who are bicultural; hence the terms “immigrants” and “biculturals” are sometimes used interchangeably.

  3. Throughout this paper, we use “cultural distance” to refer to what was described in the context of the bicultural identity framework and not in terms of the cultural distance measure as used in the Kogut and Singh (1988) index that uses Euclidean distance in values dimensions between home and host countries

  4. The modification to the scale was in terms of changing the word “Chinese” to “Indian” since the developers of the scale focused on Chinese-Americans

  5. Readers can contact the authors for more detailed results on the different hypotheses.

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Chand, M., Tung, R.L. Bicultural identity and economic engagement: An exploratory study of the Indian diaspora in North America. Asia Pac J Manag 31, 763–788 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10490-014-9375-y

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